Accountants can perform a variety of tasks depending on their position, and the typical day for a corporate accountant can also vary. Corporate accounts are an integral part of the financial operations of all types of firms, and their input is valuable for everything from asset management to financial decision making.
Skills, Education, Training, and Certification
To begin working as a corporate accountant, most positions will require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. While completing a degree program, prospective accountants gain knowledge and skill in computation, general business operations, economics, budgeting, and forecasting in order to handle the required financial functions for a position in a company.
In addition to education, obtaining and maintaining professional accounting certifications can also be required or helpful for performing daily tasks. The most common certification is the Certified Public Accountant designation. For additional information on certifications, please visit the American Institute of CPAs website at http://www.aicpa.org and the American Accounting Association at http://www.aaahq.org. Corporate accountants could spend part of their days working toward obtaining or re-certifying for various professional designations.
The combination of a post-secondary or graduate degree and professional certifications can be helpful in preparing future accountants for the corporate work environment by helping graduates to gain skills in computation, basic accounting principles and practices, reporting and analysis, written and oral communication, and more.
Work Environment of a Corporate Accountant
The types of work environments for a corporate accountant are numerous. First, all different sizes of companies employ accountants to handle accounts and other financial management tasks. A corporate accountant might work for a small local company, a mid-sized national company, or a large multi-national company. For the majority of corporate accountants, daily tasks will be completed inside an office building, although some positions would require travel and meetings at other locations.
While corporate accountants might need to work after or before hours, it is most likely that the job description for this position would be for an eight to ten hour work day during normal business operating hours. During the work day, corporate accountants might work in groups, but are most likely to work individually or one-on-one with other corporate employees or outside clients.
Tasks and Responsibilities of a Corporate Accountant
Corporate accountants can play various roles within an organization and perform a number of different tasks. From overall financial management to handling account information to forensic accounting, working in a corporate environment often means being able to take care of many different levels within the scope of accounting. This includes handling individual accounts to working at the management or executive level of a company.
For most corporations, corporate accountants will primarily function in financial management. In addition to handling both in-house and client accounts, corporate accountants also work on reports, analysis of reports and financial trends, budgeting, and making recommendations for financial expenditures, profits, and investments. Some corporate accountants will also work within the scope of forensic accounting to investigate expenditures and complete audits.
Whether working in a small local office or traveling abroad to handle large corporate business transactions and accounts, the typical day for a corporate accountant will put these professional skills and knowledge to use in order to meet the financial needs of the company.